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TV Station Fooled By Racist Fake Asian Names

Posted 7/12/2013 11:00 pm by
Someone thought these names were real.

Someone thought these names were real.

Sometimes, mistakes can be made without any malice.  Lots of people have made typos, but there are significant issues when someone does absolutely no fact checking and falls for a prank.  Witness KTVU, a station in Oakland, California, who fell for one of the oldest and most racist pranks in the book when they got information concerning the pilots and crew of Asiana Airlines Flight 214.  A summer intern at the National Transportation Safety Board gave fake racist names to a TV station, who ran them as news.  Staggeringly, the names were Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, and Bang Ding Ow; somehow, someone at the station believed them and ran the story.

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“We sincerely regret the error and took immediate action to apologize, both in the newscast where the mistake occurred, as well as on our website and social media sites,” said KTVU and KICU Vice President and General Manager Tom Raponi.  “Nothing is more important to us than having the highest level of accuracy and integrity, and we are reviewing our procedures to ensure this type of error does not happen again.”

Amazingly, the station broadcasts in multiple Asian-heavy markets yet didn’t pick up on the falseness of the names.  Oakland is 16.8 percent Asian, while San Francisco and San Jose are both 33 percent Asian, give or take.  Yet somehow, anchor Tori Campbell just went with it, which makes me think that Anchorman might be a little closer to reality than we’d all care to admit.

The real names of the pilots involved in the crash are Lee Kang-Kuk and Lee Jung-Min, according to Asiana.

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